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ICT Millennial Summit

Posted on January 2, 2018 by under Events.    

As part of the Wichita Business Journal‘s Emerging Leaders program, I had the opportunity to participate in a couple of really helpful training/conferences last month. The first one was Your Leadership Edge (formerly known as You. Lead. Now.) training through the Kansas Leadership Center.

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I was also invited to attend the first ever ICT Millennial Summit. Now, we all know that I’m not a millennial — I just act like one sometimes. I think it’s because I’m friends with so many young people.

When the term was first coined decades ago, the years weren’t as clearly defined and I was kind of in that gray area where Gen X ends and Gen Y starts. Today, almost everyone agrees that the starting year for Gen Y is 1981.

The interesting thing about me is that I can relate more to boomers and millennials than I can to my own generational group because of my work ethic and behaviors. However, I’m kind of stuck in no man’s land because the boomers often think I’m a millennial and the millennials think I’m ancient. LOL.

Anyway, being the joiner that I am with serious FOMO issues, I thought I better check out this summit. I mean, they invited me to attend and everything. If there was going to be valuable information disseminated and knowledge to be had, I wasn’t about to miss out on any of it.

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The package that the conference credentials arrived in set the tone.

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The box itself was a keepsake. I have never received materials quite like this before.

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The only other thing better that I’ve received is the Home for Doc gala invitation.

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The event was held at Distillery 244, a really neat event space in the heart of Old Town. I’d never been there before so that in itself was enticing.

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Here’s the agenda for the event. Nothing too exciting but I didn’t know what topics would be covered until long after I’d already signed up.

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Being a completely debt-free home owner with no car payments who sets an annual budget that gets revisited halfway through the year, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the breakout session topics for the first day. I still managed to pick up a few things though, particularly in the area of investing. I’m a pretty aggressive saver in terms of my 401K so by October my take home pay actually increases substantially since I’ve maxed out the amount that I can contribute to my 401K by that point. I’ve just been taking it for granted and we usually just either spend the extra money on holiday stuff or BS and, if we’re lucky, there’s a bit left to move to savings after all is said and done. We’ve never been as purposeful about it because it’s never been part of our plan.

The first year it came as a surprise but it’s something that has happened consistently since so this year I’m thinking we should plan for it accordingly. I’m thinking that instead of spending it or just allowing that extra income to vanish into thin air we should set a specific amount aside each paycheck and then invest it at the end of the year. Who knows how much better off we’d be today had we been more strategic about investing from the get go?

Brian and I are doing pretty well financially for our age. I think we make really good choices and have developed responsible spending habits but you always want to learn more and get better. I think the better than we do for ourselves, the more that we can give back to the community and make others’ lives better.

In looking at the agenda, I was definitely more interested in the breakout topics of the second day. Still having been in the workforce for over two decades, none of the information was completely earth shattering. The one thing that I came away with is the thought that the young people of today are so lucky to have events and conferences like this summit. I was thinking that I have all this knowledge now but I had to learn it as I went. Brian and I had to learn by making mistakes and digging ourselves out of the mess. It would have been really nice if there was something like this summit for me to attend when I was in my 20s. Maybe we would have been able to avoid some of the suffering that we had to go through.

I found the summit helpful but I think it would have been even more helpful to me if I were someone in my 20s just starting my career. The summit lived up to its name. It’s definitely targeted toward millennials. I think all young people should go through it and so I’ve recommended it to our young professionals group at work.

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Anyway, here are a few pictures from the summit.

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We had the privilege of hearing Mayor Jeff Longwell speak.

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Jeff Fluhr talked about the Greater Wichita Partnership and all of the great things that have happened and will be coming up for our city.

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These are exciting times for our wonderful city.

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Listened to an awesome keynote from Warren Martin.

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One of his key points is that problems are a good thing. Problems help us learn and grow. Problems help us build character. I tend to agree. Brian and I wouldn’t be the people we are today if it weren’t for the challenges that we’ve had to overcome early in our marriage. Our experiences shaped the people we’ve become.

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Here’s a short clip I found on YouTube of him talking about problems.

Mr. Martin was one of the mentors for the second day and talked to us about communication during one of the breakouts.

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He also shared with us his formula/model for writing any kind of speech, talk, or presentation. It’s so brilliant, I wish I would’ve thought of it.

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One of my favorite parts of attending the summit is that it gave me an opportunity to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

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Raquel Reyes (above) and Jennifer Cole (below).

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I ran into Joe Parten (Carrabba’s) who was the lunch sponsor for the first day.

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I also connected with Jessie Sterling, owner of Paint the Towne.

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She facilitated the flag painting “make and take” activity that we did at the end of the first day which was super fun.

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Here’s a group photo that we took at the end of that first day.

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On the second day, our table groups were tasked with creating a front page layout for WBJ in 2025. We had some really creative and brilliant minds on our team so guess what – we won.

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Here’s our official group photo (above). From left: me, Jennifer Rost, Whitney Feltrop, Erica Brock, Sam Belsan, Christina Santiago, Erica Thomas, Raquel Reyes, and Josh Beckman.

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This one is just a fun selfie we took with our winning poster.

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At the end of the summit, I stuck around for a bit to visit with these amazing women. It was a really fun couple of days. The experience was truly worthwhile. I’m glad I got to participate in it.

You can read more about the ICT Millennial Summit in this WBJ article here and watch the highlight video below:

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